buffalo new york

Design Thinkers Buffalo: Our First Meetup!

Last evening was our first ever meet up for Design Thinkers Buffalo! Working purpose:

“we exist to co-create a collaborative community of design-driven thinkers/doers, advocates, and allies, to support and strengthen the growing Buffalo ecosystem through the power of good human-centric design and creative problem-solving.”

Nine of us gathered from a variety of industries and professions to discuss, “how might we develop a strong community of practice that will empower us to create, capture, and deliver value to each other.”

Bringing human-centric design to Buffalo, New York

Interested in organizing a design thinking themed meetup? Here’s the agenda I designed for our first event. The intention was to create some structure, with flexibility for free flowing more off the cuff discussion. I think that the primary objective for every meetup kickoff is to establish a clear purpose. A clear purpose statement will help to inform the direction of all future events and discussion. You, the organizer, can create this yourself, or use the first event to ideate with your members. Additionally, a clear purpose will help to niche your topic and build an active audience of supporters. I hope you find this reference of value.


November 29, 2018 Meetup Agenda

  • Community question: what inspired you to attend/join?

  • Opening remarks

  • Individual member introductions

    • name/where are you from?/what do you do?/what wacky skill do you possess?

  • Community purpose and reflection

    • Working purpose, “We exist to create a robust community of design-driven leaders and changemakers to support the growing Buffalo ecosystem and advance on our own individual creative growth.”

      Intention: “to create, capture, and deliver high value to members to help inspire sustainable innovation and education about good design in Buffalo.”

  • Goal ideation session

    • An “ask and give”
      What are you looking for? How would you like to contribute?

    • Format ideas:

      • Job opportunity

      • Events

      • Speakers

      • Skillshares

      • Design challenges

      • Professional development

      • Book club

      • Topic discussions

      • Field trips

    • Online too?

      • Mighty network

      • Facebook group

      • Slack

      • LinkedIn group

    • Logistics

      • Future locations

      • Day/time

      • Frequency

  • Next steps, expression of gratitude, closing remarks

    • Survey members

    • Other call to actions?

  • Group photo

    • Theme?


Our next meetup is Thursday, December 27th at 7:00 PM. If you live and work around the Buffalo, New Year area and are interested in human-centric design processes and methodologies in addition to creative problem solving, we'd love to have you join us! Special thanks to SPOT Coffee in Orchard Park for the cozy and festive space.

Kirsten Lindquist Campana, Design Strategist